Why DevToMe Writers “Burn Out”

Recently, the Devcoin submission round ended. Per usual, many writers here on DevToMe tried to crank out as many articles as they could before the payout cut off. But what happens next round, when all of the writers have used up their good ideas? Will they all just… stop writing? Here’s my theory on why writers seem to “burn out” after a round, and how to prevent it from happening to you.

Ideas are Running Thin

When writers enter the world of DevToMe, they usually have some ideas already. These can be ideas formulated months ago that the writer never got around to write down, or something about DevToMe itself that the writer just came up with. Either way, the writers have an idea that sparks them. After the first idea is gone, the writers try to come up with something else. It takes a while, but finally they write another great article. This process usually continues for a few days until the writer thinks to himself “I can’t think of anything else!” and ends up not writing anything else for the rest of the round and forgetting about writing next time. Don’t get me wrong, good ideas are hard to come by. However, this can easily be defeated by writing about literally anything and everything. You don’t need a brilliant idea for every article, and usually the smallest idea will lead to a great article after you think about it for a while. If you do have the urge to write an amazing article every time, take an hour or so at the beginning of each month to take a calendar, either virtual or physical, and come up with a writing prompt for each day. As long as you write something, you will better yourself as a writer and become a better submitter in general. Ideas won’t come easily at first, but one will lead to another and soon enough your calendar will be filled with writing prompts! This is a two-way-street, however. Don’t let a good idea go to waste! Each idea is a potentially amazing article, and when you are stuck with nothing to write about you’ll be wishing you wrote down the great idea you had a few days ago.

End of Round Cramming

If we’re all honest, a large reason why we write on DevToMe instead of our own personal blogs is to earn devcoin, which is paid out periodically after a round is completed. Many writers want to earn the most they can during each round, so they cram a few thousand words into the last days of the submission period. Although this might be good in the short term, it makes writers less likely to come back and write in the next round. After writing a few thousand words a day for 3-4 days before the round ends, writers get sick of coming up with ideas and making longer articles. This steers them away from writing for at least a week if not more, and can sometimes lead to complete lack of motivation to write at all. End of round cramming causes writers to burn out because they use up all of their creativity in a short period of time, which deters them from being creative in the future. It can also suck up all of a writer’s good ideas, causing him to have a motivation to write about something interesting. You can avoid end of round cramming and burning out by consistently putting out articles and not focusing on rounds, but instead treating every day like it’s the first day of a round. When you don’t look at submission periods like deadlines, it becomes a lot easier to crank out an article every day instead of cramming multiple articles into a short period of time.

There’s Money to Be Made!

As mentioned before, many writers just want to get paid for their work. It’s a valid reason, since the payouts are practically paying people to do write as a hobby. However, it can lead to writers writing tons of articles in order to hit that 50,000 word cap each round. Take 50,000 and divide it by 31 and you’ll get around 1600 words per day, the amount needed to hit the pay limit. You can probably imagine that after writing around 3000 words per day for a month, you’ll be pretty happy to take a break. However, many writers don’t come back from these breaks. I’ve seen many writers write over 30,000 to 50,000 words in one month and never come back or come back only for a few thousand per month. Writing just to hit the pay limit once may be beneficial short term, but many writers at DevToMe write over 50,000 words across many months here and end up earning more than someone who hit the pay limit once and stopped afterwards.

How to Avoid It

  • Make sure to spread your ideas out over time. This will prevent you from using all of your best ideas at once, and you can write other articles in the meantime. Focus on your bigger articles, and spend a lot of time developing good, detailed works that are interesting to your readers. Views on articles also come into play, so better, more entertaining articles will even earn you MORE devcoin per article!
  • Write a nice amount of amazing articles instead of a ton of mediocre articles. Not only will this help the site by declogging it from useless filler articles, but it will also earn you more devcoin, since (like I mentioned before) you will be paid more shares at the payout if you have lots of views on your articles. This will also profile you as a user with a lot of great ideas who spends time crafting amazing pieces instead of a spammer who is writing “meh” articles as fast as possible to get paid. If you spend lots of time on an amazing article, you’ll earn more devcoin and won’t run out of ideas as quickly, causing you to not burn out!
  • Take your time while writing. As long as you submit before the submission round ends, it doesn’t matter when you submit your work. If you want to take an extra day to revise and edit your articles before you post them, feel free! This article was written over a span of 4 days: 3 writing days and 1 editing day. If you spend more time on your articles, it will truly show in your work. Taking your time will also relieve you from the “rush” of wanting to submit articles, helping you not burn out.

Reference | DevToMe | Writing

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